Dentures are a treatment option for patients that are completely without teeth (edentulous) or have decayed teeth remaining that need to be extracted so that they will be missing all of their teeth. There are two types of complete dentures, Conventional Dentures and Immediate Dentures. Conventional dentures are made after the teeth have been completely removed and the gum tissue and underlying bone has had time to heal. This allows time for the bone to reshape prior to constructing the denture. Immediate dentures are another treatment option in which the denture is made for delivery at the time of the teeth being removed. One of the positives of this treatment option is that the patient does not have a time period without teeth. However, because the denture is made by the lab prior to the teeth being extracted, the fit of an immediate denture often is not as good as that of a conventional denture. Immediate dentures often require relines to make for a better fit as the body adjusts and heals. Some patients even need a new denture after the body and bone has completely healed from the extractions. With that being said, many patients still opt for an immediate complete denture, because most patients do not prefer to be without teeth for the healing process.
While dentures are a good treatment option when needed, they often take some time to get used to. Many denture patients have to be very patient over the first few months as their body adjusts to speaking and eating with a complete denture. It is important for the patient to realize that a denture is an addition to the mouth and all denture patients experience some type of adjustment period. The patient’s muscles and tongue can reshape slightly to help better fit around the new denture over time, which then helps make it easier to speak and eat normally again as the muscles adjust.